William Camden, a schoolmaster, started on his Britannia 1577 at the encouragement of Abraham Ortelius. His first edition would be published in 1586, in a relatively modest and unillustrated first edition. One of the main focus points in the creation of the work was to present a classical study of Britain, with a definitive study on the island during Roman times. While scholars of the day were impressed by the work, the public was drawn in by the almost explicit critiques that Camden's historical narrative made against another chronicler, the famous tenth-century Geoffrey of Monmouth. Camden effectively rewrote history as it was accepted in Britain with his first work.
Five further editions of the text would be published in Latin, and one in English, during Camden's lifetime. Each edition expanded on the previous one, and the original five-hundred-and-fifty page work ballooned rapidly. The work would be reprinted in posthumous editions until at least 1789, and proposals for even later editions appeared into the twentieth century. Robert Morden illustrated a 1695 example, which was perhaps the most well known. Blaeu used portions of Camden's work in his 1645 Theatrum Orbis Terrarum as did Jansson in his 1646 Novus Atlas.